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Date:      Fri, 01 Dec 2017 11:41:51 -0800
From:      "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg@tristatelogic.com>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Mount NTFS from "Live" system?
Message-ID:  <60006.1512157311@segfault.tristatelogic.com>
In-Reply-To: <4438334a-4946-4b88-a487-ced42b7c676a@qeng-ho.org>

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I think that I can close out this interesting and informative discussion, 
now.

The drive in question, a WD 2.5" 32GB "blue", really is/was bad.

I didn't know that for sure until last night, when I finally broke
down and used WD's own (Windoze-based) diagnostic tool to run the
long-form S.M.A.R.T. test.  (I usually run S.M.A.R.T tests via a
different tool contained on something called the "Ultimate Boot CD".)

An important (and helpful) difference with the WD diagnostic tool is
that when it is used to run either the short or long built-in
S.M.A.R.T. tests the user interface actually shows you, in real time,
a running counter showing the sector number of the current disk sector
being tested at that instant.

If the test is running normally, the displayed sector number will
increase smoothly and rapidly... the sector numbers will change so
fast you can't even read them.

In the case of this specific (bad) drive, the WD diagnostic tools showed
the sector numbers increasing during the long S.M.A.R.T. test, usually
very fast, but at times the sector numbers would increase only much more
slowly, sometimes even to the point where a single sector number number
would stay on the screen for several seconds in a row.

Quite obviously, based on the highly variable speed of progression, the
diagnostic test was having a LOT of trouble either reading or writing to
a LOT of sectors on this specific drive.  So, you know, the drive is
obviously ripe for the junk heap.

The other good thing about the WD diagnostic tool is that it dynamically
adjusts the displayed "time remaining" for the long S.M.A.R.T. test,
based on the size of the disk and how much progress the test has made
so far.

I didn't even finish running the long test.  I ran it for an hour or so,
but by that point the "time remaining" was showing as 9+ hours, and
since I already knew by then that the drive was utterly broke, it wasn't
worth continuing.

It still seems quite bizzare to me that a well-treated drive with so few
hours on it could have gone so uttrely bad, even while spending the vast
majority of its short life just sitting on the shelf.

It would seem that "bit rot" might not be just a joke, and might be a
real world phenomenon after all.



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